Growing Innovation

App to revolutionise crop mapping

Growers will soon be able to monitor the health of their crop canopies, better estimate yields and gauge biosecurity threats and boundaries using an app being created by Hort Innovation and the Queensland Government.

Currently in the development phase, the app will allow users to capture crop information using GPS coordinates from an individuals’ smart device. Users will also have the option to add photographs of crops and comments about their observations.

Hort Innovation Chief Executive Officer John Lloyd said once made publically available, the app will rely on “citizen science” to grow and thrive.

“The true value of this app will be realised through the contribution of users who have a genuine interest in the science behind charting Australia’s crops,” he said.

Mr Lloyd said the information will be valuable for creating detailed maps of Australia’s horticulture products.

“When it is fully realised, this app will be able to give industry a firm idea of the crops that are being grown in various parts of Australia – even down to varieties.”

During this early phase, developers are chiefly focussing on mapping the location of mango, macadamia and avocado orchards to complement the existing Hort Innovation project Multi-Scale Monitoring Tools for Managing Australian Tree Crops — Industry Meets Innovation (a project funded through the Rural R&D for Profit program).

Mr Lloyd said however, the app has much broader potential. Watch this space.